Missouri National Recreational River
The Missouri National Recreational River is a National Park
which follows a 100-mile stretch of the nation’s longest river, representing a vestige of the untamed west. Two free flowing stretches of the Missouri make up the National Recreational River. Relive the past by making an exploration of the wild, untamed and mighty river that continues to flow as nature intended.
The park was established by two distinct pieces of legislation more than a decade apart.
- In 1978 - Congess designated the 59 mile reach of the MNRR stretching from about one mile below Gavins Point Dam, near Yankton, SD, to Nebraska's Ponca State Park.
- In 1991 - Congress designated the 39 mile reach of the MNRR which begins immediately downstream from Fort Randall Dam at Pickstown, SD, and continues to Running Water, South Dakota. This section also consists of the lower 20 miles of the Niobrara River and 8 miles of Verdigre Creek.
Most visitors come to the Missouri National Recreational RIver for its refreshing water and premier boating, fishing, hunting, canoeing and kayaking. You can also camp, tour powerhouses and historic sites, birdwatch, trace the Lewis & Clark Expedition, visit a fish hatchery and aquarium, and explore quiet trails.
A number of opportunties exist to explore the Lewis & Clark saga, with the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center at Gavins Point Dam providing a particularly useful introduction to the story. The visitor center offers panoramic views of the river, Lewis & Clark Lake and Gavins Point Dam, as well as information, exhibits, a theater and a bookstore. National Park Service and Corp of Engineers staff can help you plan your visit.